Is there any instance in which that phrase is uttered that the one uttering it is not being an asshole?
No one ever says, “Thank you so much for dinner tonight. It was delicious and you are a wonderful cook. I’m just saying.”
Instead it’s always tacked on to some sort of criticism, usually the unsolicited kind. Something like, “Your chronic halitosis and flatulence disgust me. I’m just saying.”
Somehow this expression has come to be used all too often. It’s as if people believe that it’s an asterisk that can be placed at the end of any rude sentence to make it socially acceptable.
Its origins are murky. Some people swear they heard it in an early Eddie Murphy routine. Others insist that it dates from “Seinfeld” episodes. In any case, the roots of the phrase seem to be sitcom, not Shakespeare.
What if Romeo had seen Juliet and gushed:
“See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O that I were a glove upon that hand,
that I might touch that cheek! — just saying.”
Kind of loses its sincerity, doesn’t it?
Did we really need a new phrase to help us be more snide, snarky, and insincere?
Dieter: “Now is the time on Schprockets when we meme.”